Internalised border policies have become ever restrictive, particaulrly in the aftermath of the refugee reception crisis of 2015. Whilst this has been part of a longer-term continuum of bordering, the micro level impacts of structural and institutional responses are often overlooked in discourses around bordering. This is particularly the case for women and survivors of sexual violence, persecution and torture. This ESRC funded project has worked to bridge the gap in understanding the ways in which increasingly punitive borders inflict various harms at individual levels. Undertaking oral histories with women seeking asylum in Britain, Denmark and Sweden, as well as interviews with practitioners, it facilitates in-depth insight into the everyday impacts of immigration controls. Moreover, it embeds an activist academic agenda into the process and the outcomes to centralise the experiences of those most affected by borders. This project prioritises working with grassroot organisations across the three countries, including the development of the Right to Remain Asylum Navigation Board - a tool with which people seeking asylum can learn about each stage of the process, and importantly how to overcome various barriers to gaining refugee status. Since its inception, we have distributed around 100 boards to organisations across the UK, including training people who have been detained or are at threat of detention to use the board as facilitators in migrant-led organisations and groups.
Addressing Asylum Harm in Britain, Denmark and Sweden
Vicky Canning, Senior Lecturer, University of Brsitol